I hope you all are enjoying your weekend thus far. Today I wanted to write about one of my go-to cheeses. This cheese is one that is always satisfying and I'm never disappointed when it is featured on one of my platters. Allow me to introduce, the Abbaye de Belloc...
Cheese: Abbaye de Belloc
Producer: The Benedictine monks at the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Belloc
Location: Western Pyrenees, Aquitaine, France
Milk: Pasteurized sheep's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)
The Abbaye de Belloc recipe is based on the recipe of another well-known sheep's milk cheese from the Pyrenees... the Ossau Iraty. Like the Ossau Iraty, the sheep's milk flavor is nutty and caramel-y. The monks step it up a notch by rubbing the outsides of the wheels with sweet paprika which is then covered by brown and grey molds as it ages. The Abbaye de Belloc is aged anywhere from 4 months to 10 months and maintains the magnificent flavor throughout that whole time. I personally like it aged closer to 10 months, but I'm not picky!
While I'm perfectly content to eat the Abbaye de Belloc by itself, today I decided to add some Genoa salami to the mix. The creamy, dense texture of the cheese pairs nicely with the paper thin slices of salami. Add a nice Belgian Dubbel or Trippel to the mix and you've got yourself a party!
The Abbaye de Belloc may not be available at every Whole Foods Market cheese counter, but if you do see it, be sure to ask for a sample!
That is all for now my friends. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!